Game No. 41: Whoa, we're halfway there

Ryan Lambert
January 05 2011 04:37PM



Hoo boy.

As of right now, the Vancouver Canucks are literally the best team in hockey. As of two nights ago, the Calgary Flames lost the second-worst team in hockey. This is a recipe for disaster.

The Canucks haven't lost in regulation in exactly a month, when they dropped a 3-2 decision to St. Louis. Before that, they had won four straight. Since then, they've won 11 of 13 and taken 24 of 26 possible points. So you might say that they're as for-real as teams get.

Now, there's something to be said (at least by the people who believe these things) about peaking too early, and that late-season games coming after Valentine's Day or so are the true test of a team's character. But that is, of course, ridiculous. Any time a team can cobble together a stretch of 15-1-2 over the course of about a month and a half, they are a force to be reckoned with. No one just backs into that, unless they're the Senators last year, I guess, but at least Vancouver plays in the West, right?

Plus they say you gotta beat the teams put in front of you. Doesn't matter if they're first or 30th, you gotta win. Well, Vancouver obviously has, but they're not exactly pounding on the minnows. In this 18-game superstretch, they've beaten current playoff teams 12 times(!), so there schedule hasn't exactly been easy. In fact, there are seven teams in the league with 50 or more points, and Vancouver's one of 'em, but during this run, they've played them all except Pittsburgh and Washington and taken six of eight points.

They've netted 72 goals in this run (an even four per) and allowed just 39 (2.17 per). That'll win you a hell of a lot of hockey games, and they've got everyone chipping in. There are seven Canucks with 20 points or more, but during this run, no one has been superhuman, like, say, Crosby was when the Pens won 100 in a row a few weeks back. Henrik and Daniel Sedin have 26 and 25 points, respectively, which isn't a ton all things considered. In the latter's case, it's only slightly above his season output, and in the former's it's actually below.

They actually remind me a lot of the Flames from their Cup run. Great goaltending, a couple of really good players at the top of their game, and a whole bunch of brainless thugs who make them impossible to play against.

This one could get ugly.

 

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Yer ol' buddy Lambert is handsome and great and everyone loves him. Also you can visit his regular blog at The Two-Line Pass or follow him on Twitter. Lucky you!
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#51 Robert Cleave
January 05 2011, 10:02PM
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@Kent Wilson

Yeah, they accomplish very little in transition against good teams and having to create every last bit of offense on the cycle is a tough way to play.

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#52 dotfras
January 05 2011, 10:02PM
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Yeah Backlund has looked really creative out there - Especially for a guy who hasn't played in a while.

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#53 Scott
January 05 2011, 10:06PM
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@negrilcowboy

Your forgetting the all important, " Ran into a hot goalie" spiel. But your absolutely right. Case and point, Loubo's remark before commercial, hitting the post, and thats the way its gone tonight... Yah one post, and 30 into Lu's chest. Just bad bounces, haha.

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#54 Subversive
January 05 2011, 10:07PM
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So, I decided not to watch this game, one dissapointing hockey result today is enough for me. But now I check the box score and we're outshooting Vcr 31-13 but losing 3-0? WTF?

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#55 Scott
January 05 2011, 10:08PM
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@Subversive

31 shots, and one scoring chance. 14 vancouver shots, and 9 scoring chances. Enough Said.

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#56 coptin_
January 05 2011, 10:08PM
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lavardias is such an idiot we held them to 16 shots,big deal you friggin idiot you could hold them to 1 shot and lose 1-0

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#57 Scott
January 05 2011, 10:09PM
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Well, I'm done for the night, I just want to leave this lasting point....

This was our bounce back game(being shut out) after losing to the 2nd worst team...

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#58 Scott
January 05 2011, 10:11PM
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I know, and he is laying on thick about the "bad luck" of the flames... sigh, I'm with DomeBeers now... Loubo needs to be relegated to the minors!

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#59 coptin_
January 05 2011, 10:11PM
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now it's 37-16 in shots

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#60 Scott
January 05 2011, 10:13PM
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Ahhh. What has this world come to! Trading with the oilers, laughing with the canucks!

Sigh, just like Raiders firing Tom Cable after going undefeated in the division! Makes no sense to me!

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#61 negrilcowboy
January 05 2011, 10:13PM
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Scott wrote:

Your forgetting the all important, " Ran into a hot goalie" spiel. But your absolutely right. Case and point, Loubo's remark before commercial, hitting the post, and thats the way its gone tonight... Yah one post, and 30 into Lu's chest. Just bad bounces, haha.

How could i have overlooked that one. lol Peter just brought up the 40 shots and still trailing line. Ha peter lobotomy"s voice is too annoying, and Peters cheques are signed by king.

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#62 coptin_
January 05 2011, 10:14PM
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maybe we should put the hole team up in the press box for the detroit game,judging from the last two games it should be ugly

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#63 Scott
January 05 2011, 10:15PM
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@negrilcowboy

Ah... I think we've come to the root cause of all flames fans pain.. Ken King. Anyone getting a pay cheque from this joker needs to go!

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#64 negrilcowbboy
January 05 2011, 10:18PM
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this reminds me of a story my brother in law told me, when he was in peewee they played brampton in a tourney. he says we totally outplayed them, outshot the and lost 10 -1 some gretzky guy scored 9.

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#65 Kent Wilson
January 05 2011, 10:20PM
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Subversive wrote:

So, I decided not to watch this game, one dissapointing hockey result today is enough for me. But now I check the box score and we're outshooting Vcr 31-13 but losing 3-0? WTF?

It all perimeter shots + playing to score effect. Flames earned their deficit and the Canucks are just sitting on it now.

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#66 coptin_
January 05 2011, 10:24PM
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peter is obsessed with SOG

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#67 negrilcowboy
January 05 2011, 10:27PM
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coptin_ wrote:

peter is obsessed with SOG

and he states it "with authority"

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#68 Kent Wilson
January 05 2011, 10:27PM
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coptin_ wrote:

peter is obsessed with SOG

Just polishing things for the viewers.

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#69 Flamin Cannot's
January 05 2011, 10:29PM
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blow it up!!! None of this we are gonna keep kipper iggy etc. At least my favourite flamer scored, why can't they all play like the Jackhammer?

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#70 dotfras
January 05 2011, 10:29PM
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Another nice sequence by Backlund at the end. This guy needs to play every game for the rest of the year.

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#71 negrilcowboy
January 05 2011, 10:33PM
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8 of the last 13 goals scored have come from the infantry,butter might want to address a lack of urgency, another game where jbo was as rough as emery cloth.

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#72 coptin_
January 05 2011, 10:34PM
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at least the players can all state "at lesst we didn't get shut out" and we took lots of shots on goal

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#73 Robert Cleave
January 05 2011, 10:35PM
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Corsi.

I think Jay Feaster can safely get to work on that plan that doesn't involve the team being competitive. Whether any other team will take Calgary's garbage is another matter.

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#74 coptin_
January 05 2011, 10:35PM
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least

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#75 schevvy
January 05 2011, 10:40PM
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At least the flames played better tonight. The last 6 games we have on average won 2 of 3, which is what we have to be. However, we NEED to generate more chances. Yes we had 44 shots and Loubardias probably thinks we had 44 chances, but most of those shots were soft shots into luongo's chest. We need to fix that somehow, someway

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#76 coptin_
January 05 2011, 10:44PM
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maybe it's time to break out the skills net during practice and see if anyone can hit the targets in the corners

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#77 negrilcowboy
January 05 2011, 10:46PM
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@schevvy

Wow, Mike Rogers says the Flames were the better team tonight. Amazing. Does anyone believe these guys.

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#78 otto
January 05 2011, 10:51PM
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I don't think Scotty Bowman could get this group in to the play-offs.It's going to be a looong second half.

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#79 dotfras
January 05 2011, 10:55PM
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Feaster needs to start retooling NOW.

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